Photo_Credit___Warner_Bros__PicturesIn the hit movie American Sniper, Bradley Cooper, in the role of Chris Kyle, hears and repeats the axiom “aim small, miss small”.

It is a core concept ingrained in the hero’s mind from an early age.

This idea is strengthened when you think about how the “aim” concept is applied to the movie. The world is reduced to the view within the sniper’s scope, and the view within the scope is reduced to a small, precise point.

The lesson: reduce your focus to the smallest defined spot in order to increase your chances of success. You may miss, it but it won’t be by much.

Aim small. Miss small.

That practice can also help you hit your business targets. By concentrating your business focus to a narrow and ideal market, you can improve your chances of hitting your target and also dramatically improve your business revenue, profits, and satisfaction.

As a business owner, you may balk at the idea of “narrowing” the focus of your business.
Instinctively, you believe that if you reduce the audience you are attempting to serve you’ll reduce the success of the business. That’s a flawed perspective and can result in a very poorly performing business and a very unhappy owner.

If you don’t narrow your focus, you may attempt to attract and serve everyone. By attempting to attract everyone you will also compete with everyone.
Imagine the awfulness of trying to please everyone. Imagine the cost of competing against everyone. This is the world’s easiest recipe for business disaster.

Successful businesses have mastered the discipline of aiming at a small, yet rich, target.

Here are three steps that will help your business Aim Small, Miss Small.

First, you must thoughtfully construct the strategic elements of your business.

Start by answering these questions:
1. What does your business bring to the market that no one else can?
2. What makes your business unique and different?
3. What difference do you make in the lives of your customer or community?

By answering these questions, you can begin to identify the narrow focus of your business.

Build your business on what you do best and that also has the biggest positive impact on your customers and community.

The second step is to find within your existing customers, those that come close to the definition of “ideal”.

Here’s how: Start by identifying the customers that understand and appreciate the unique value your business provides. These are the customers you probably enjoy working with the most. They “get” you and your business.

Identify within that list of happy customers, the ones that are highly profitable and also refer you to others.

These are your ideal customers. They are your 20% and they deliver 80% of what you enjoy about your business.

Once you have the ideal customers identified, create buyer persona(s) that help you understand them better. Don’t stop at just listing their demographics. Evaluate their buying behavior, their emotional and rational characteristics, and how they are influenced.

The third step is to align your business and marketing efforts to this narrow business focus and the persona of the ideal customer.

An easy place to start is introducing the word NO into your business vocabulary.

Contrary to popular believe saying “No Thank You” to prospects and opportunities that are not aligned with your business is a good thing. When you accept customers and projects that deviate from your businesses core strengths and capabilities you are actually hurting your business.

Instead, concentrate your business on the one thing that makes your business different from those in the market that say they do the same as you.

If you are taking time and attention away from delivering your best to your best customers they may not achieve the results they want, the value they seek, or the experience they appreciate.

When you choose not to concentrate on your ideal customer, you risk disappointing your best customers. Your business will not get repeat purchases, accolades, and referrals from customers that do not get your best.

Your marketing should also clearly connect to your ideal customer. Instead of trying to attract everyone, aim only to attract those customers that fit your ideal customer persona. Let your competitors try to attract and please everyone.

This clear focus on the bull’s eye of the target will reduce your marketing cost and increase the effectiveness of your marketing.

When your business knows its purpose, aligns to its core strengths, and can identify and attract ideal customers, you will stand head and shoulders above the others in the market.

Marketing Strategy Checkup


Photo credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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